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July 22, 2016

Justice Department and State Attorneys General Sue to Block Anthem’s Acquisition of Cigna, Aetna’s Acquisition of Humana

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

The U.S. Department of Justice and attorneys general from multiple states and the District of Columbia sued today to block Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna and Aetna’s proposed acquisition of Humana, alleging that the transactions would increase concentration and harm competition across the country, reducing from five to three the number of large, national health insurers in the nation.

The department and state attorneys general filed these two merger challenges in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  The complaints allege that the two mergers – valued at $54 billion and $37 billion – would harm seniors, working families and individuals, employers and doctors and other healthcare providers by limiting price competition, reducing benefits, decreasing incentives to provide innovative wellness programs and lowering the quality of care.

“Competitive insurance markets are essential to providing Americans the affordable and high-quality healthcare they deserve,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.  “These mergers would restrict competition for health insurance products sold in markets across the country and would give tremendous power over the nation’s health insurance industry to just three large companies.  Our actions seek to preserve competition that keeps premiums down and drives insurers to collaborate with doctors and hospitals to provide better healthcare for all Americans.”

“We all, including seniors, everyday workers and the previously uninsured and underinsured deserve affordable health insurance options,” said Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Bill Baer.  “Competition today drives these four successful firms to fight to give us affordable options.  There is no reason to put that dynamic at risk and that is why we are asking the court to stop these mergers and keep competition working for the benefit of the American consumer.”

“The proposed mergers would eliminate two innovative competitors – Cigna and Humana – at a time when competition has been pressuring insurers to develop new models of care designed to keep Americans healthier, to deliver healthcare more efficiently and to control the costs of providing care,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sonia Pfaffenroth of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  “The department will continue to work with our state colleagues to protect competition and innovation in this vitally important industry.”

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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Arrest in Embezzlement Case in Sacramento

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:03 am

SACRAMENTO - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arrest of Kevin Manz, 59, on felony charges of grand theft for embezzling money from multiple charitable organizations in the Sacramento area. According to the criminal complaint, filed today in Sacramento Superior Court, Manz illegally directed funds from Cathedral Pioneer Church Homes Inc., Cathedral Pioneer Church Homes Foundation, and the Pioneer Foundation to personal bank and business accounts and used the funds for personal expenses such as jewelry and cars.

“Preying on charities that benefit senior citizens is despicable behavior that will not be tolerated,” said Attorney General Harris. “My office will continue to prosecute those who embezzle and misuse charitable funds for personal gain. I thank the California Department of Justice Special Agents for their diligent investigative efforts in this case.”

Manz is a licensed attorney in Kansas who gained the trust of charity boards and church congregations in the Sacramento area.  He convinced multiple charitable organizations, including foundations that provide housing for seniors, to allow him to manage their financial accounts.  According to the criminal complaint, he then embezzled over $1 million from three charitable organizations.

The arrest came after a 5-month investigation by the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation and the Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement Task Force.  The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Financial Fraud and Special Prosecutions Section.

A copy of the felony complaint is attached to the online version of this press release at oag.ca.gov/news.

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July 21, 2016

United States Seeks to Recover more than $1 Billion Obtained from Corruption involving Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:09 am

LOS ANGELES – The Justice Department announced today the filing of civil forfeiture complaints seeking the forfeiture and recovery of more than $1 billion in assets associated with an international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.

More than $3.5 billion in funds belonging to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was allegedly misappropriated by high-level officials of 1MDB and their associates from 2009 through 2015, according to the 16 complaints filed today in United States District Court in Los Angeles. With today’s complaints, the United States seeks to recover more than $1 billion laundered through the United States and traceable to the conspiracy.

1MDB was created by the government of Malaysia to promote economic development in Malaysia through global partnerships and foreign direct investment, and its funds were intended to be used for improving the well-being of the Malaysian people.  Instead, as detailed in the complaints, 1MDB officials and their associates allegedly misappropriated more than $3 billion.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced the filing of the complaints this morning at a news conference in Washington, D.C. The Attorney General was joined in the announcement by United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell, FBI Deputy Director Andrew G. McCabe and Chief Richard Weber of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation.

Today’s complaints represent the largest single action ever brought under the Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

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Defense Contractor Employee Indicted by Grand Jury for Selling Satellite Secrets to Undercover Agent Posing as a Foreign Spy

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

Update:

Today, a federal grand jury in Los Angeles returned a two-count indictment that charges Gregory Allen Justice with economic espionage and violating the Arms Export Control Act for his attempts to sell sensitive satellite information to a person he believed to be a foreign intelligence agent.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Justice is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on July 27.

If he is convicted of both counts in the indictment, Justice would face a statutory maximum penalty of 35 years in federal prison.

Original News Release:

Defense Contractor Employee from Culver City Arrested for Selling Satellite Secrets to Undercover Agent Posing as a Foreign Spy

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MAN TO FACE TRIAL FOR STABBING-MURDER OF ACQUAINTENCE AFTER CHASING AND STALKING HIM AND FLEEING TO MEXICO

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:03 am

FULLERTON, Calif. – A man is scheduled to face trial tomorrow for the stabbing-murder of his acquaintance after chasing and stalking him and fleeing to Mexico. Mario Alberto Rodriguez, 26, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife. If convicted, Rodriguez faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison. Opening statements are scheduled to begin tomorrow, July 21, 2016, at 9:30 a.m. in Department N-11, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

On March 9, 2013, Rodriguez is accused of seeing 26-year-old acquaintance Paul Anthony Garcia in front of the defendant’s family’s home in Santa Ana, and chasing him on foot. Rodriguez and two associates followed Garcia for a few blocks until he entered the El Chile Picante restaurant on South Main Street.

Rodriguez is accused of entering the restaurant and attempting to grab Garcia to lead him outside. Restaurant employees informed the defendant that the business had video surveillance and asked the defendant to leave the building. Rodriguez is accused of leaving the restaurant and waiting near the exit to further pursue Garcia.

The defendant is accused of chasing Garcia across the street to a parking area behind a business after the victim exited the restaurant. Rodriguez is accused of punching Garcia and stabbing the victim once in the chest. The victim ran across Main Street and collapsed on the sidewalk where he died as a result of the stab wound.

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July 20, 2016

Arizona Man Who Photographed Sexual Abuse of Young Boys while Working in China Sentenced to 25 Years in Federal Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:09 am

LOS ANGELES – An Arizona man who admitted molesting four young boys in China and documenting the abuse with hundreds of photographs and videos has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.

Kelly James Morrow, 49, who had been living in China when he was arrested last June and claims a domestic residence in Surprise, Arizona, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge S. James Otero.

Morrow pleaded guilty in April to two charges – sexual exploitation of children outside the United States and possession of child pornography.

“This defendant is a sexual predator who not only abused young boys – he also documented his physical and mental abuse by taking thousands of pictures of his victims,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Just as Morrow’s photographs continued to victimize boys that he molested, his massive collection of child pornography victimized every one of the hundreds of child abuse victims depicted in those images.”

Morrow was arrested in June 2015, about a week after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport on a flight from Singapore. A search of his computer equipment and digital media revealed a collection of more than 60,000 images and videos depicting child pornography. In addition to the images Morrow produced in China while working on golf course projects, Morrow admitted in a plea agreement filed in court that he took a nude photograph of a young boy in Lincoln, Nebraska in late 2014.

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Man Sentenced For 2014 Standoff With Law Enforcement in Norwalk

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

A La Habra man was sentenced today to more than 110 years in state prison after being convicted of shooting at law enforcement during a standoff in Norwalk two years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jason Edwin Devore, 39, was sentenced to 111 years and eight months in prison by Los Angeles County Superior Court Mildred Escobedo. In June, Devore was found guilty of five counts of assault on a peace officer with a semiautomatic firearm and 16 counts of second-degree robbery.

On June 10, 2014, Devore and George Contreras, 21, of Los Angeles, barricaded themselves in a trailer in Norwalk after law enforcement attempted to arrest Devore, who was a suspect in a series of robberies throughout the Los Angeles region.

Prosecutors said shots were fired at officers on three separate occasions during the prolonged standoff. No one was injured.

After several hours, Contreras surrendered to authorities. Tear gas was later fired into the trailer that flushed Devore out. Both men were arrested.

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Man Charged With Vandalizing Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:03 am

A 24-year-old man accused of defacing a war memorial in Venice was charged today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Angel Castro (dob 2/24/92) has been charged with one felony count of vandalism over $400 damagegraffiti in case SA093405.

The felony complaint also alleges that Castro was previously convicted of robbery in 2015.

The defendant is scheduled to be arraigned today in Department 30 at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch. Prosecutors will ask that bail be set at $85,000.

Prosecutors said on May 25 Castro allegedly vandalized the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall located at 100 Sunset Avenue in Venice.

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July 19, 2016

Gardena Gang Member and Longtime Pimp Sentenced to 40 Years in Federal Prison for Sex Trafficking of Children

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:18 am

LOS ANGELES – A Gardena man who was found guilty of sex trafficking seven girls, most of whom had been coerced or forced to work as prostitutes, was sentenced today to 40 years in federal prison.

Laron Darrell Carter, also known as “Birdd” and variations of that moniker, 39, received the sentence from United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips, who also ordered the defendant to pay $631,248 in restitution to six of his victims.

Following a five-day trial in April, a jury convicted Carter of seven counts of sex trafficking of a minor by force, fraud or coercion, and seven counts of transporting a child to engage in prostitution.

The evidence at trial showed that Carter, a Crip gang member, trafficked girls as young as 13 and subjected some of them to beatings, which included victims being punched in the face and whipped with a belt.

Carter’s “conduct in this case spanned a decade as he prostituted the seven minor victims from 2003 to 2013” and transported them from California to Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Washington DC and Nevada, prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court.

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WOMAN CHARGED WITH STALKING, THREATENING, PRETENDING TO BE PREGANT WIFE OF HER EX-BOYFRIEND, AND RESPONDING TO MEN SOLICITING “RAPE FANTASIES” ON CRAIGSLIST

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:14 am

FULLERTON, Calif. – A woman has been charged with stalking, threatening, and pretending to be the pregnant wife of her ex-boyfriend and responding to advertisements on Craigslist soliciting “rape fantasies.”Michelle Suzanne Hadley, 29, Ontario, is charged with one felony count of stalking with a restraining order, one felony count of stalking, one felony count of criminal threats, six felony counts of attempted forcible rape, one felony count of assault with the intent to commit a sexual offense during the commission of first degree burglary, and one misdemeanor count of violation of a protective order with a sentencing enhancement allegation for crime-bail-crime. If convicted, Hadley faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison. Hadley was in court today and her bail was set at $1 million. The defendant is scheduled for continued arraignment on Aug. 19, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in Department N-12, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

Between 2013 and 2015, the defendant had a romantic relationship with Jane Doe’s husband, a U.S. Marshals Service agent, prior to Jane Doe’s marriage to her husband. At the time of the crime, Jane Doe was also pregnant.

Between June 6, 2016, and July 13, 2016, Hadley is accused of sending Jane Doe numerous emails including threats against the life of Jane Doe and her unborn child and disparaging comments about the victim’s husband. Hadley is accused of routing the emails to the victim through different computers and servers in order to avoid detection by law enforcement.

On June 6, 2016, the defendant was served with a protective order prohibiting her from contacting Jane Doe. During that time, the defendant is accused of violating the protective order and stalking Jane Doe.

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